Co-written with Cory Austin
One of the projects the tech integration department worked on this year was based on innovation. We began by brainstorming and categorizing items into Covey’s Time Management Grid: Important/Unimportant and Urgent/Non-Urgent quadrants. Then, depending on whether the initiative was school-wide or campus specific we tackled the different projects. Below you can get a glimpse of the top 6 innovative practices intentionally developed and supported by the TI team throughout the 2015/16 school year at ASFM.
1. Innovation @ Live Curious Go Beyond Conference
: 4/5 This year there were many pockets of innovative things happening at the Live Curious, Go Beyond Conference
. In the ‘Tech Playground’ you could find students leading the way, showing teachers how to innovate with MakeyMakey kits, Google Cardboard, 3Doodlers, drones and robotics. The ‘2.5%/True Innovation’ strand offered workshops such as: ‘Virtual Field Trips with Google Cardboard’, ‘Mindfulness for Teachers and Students’, ‘Developing Moonshot Mentality’ and Learning Spaces that Inspire’.
2. Breakout Edu
: 4/5 The ELEM campus ran team building Breakout Edu sessions for the entire grade 3 generation and are currently preparing for 4th grade. The MSHS is currently running Breakout sessions with students who have finished AP exams. Breakout games were run during every session at the Live Curious, Go Beyond Conference, in addition to a session developed and run at the U-erre Conference
for local teachers. Next year the plan is to continue to run Breakout sessions, working to reach a wider audience and personally creating more games.
: 4/5 The elementary campus began its first year with the Open Mind Zone
, combining trends in creation and social emotional development. It was a successful year as the space continues to change and mold to its users. The MSHS TI office had success with students exploring different maker kits. The MakeyMakey
was put to use by creating different types of unique controllers
for interactive digital games. The 3D printers on both campuses continue to be run by designers and hackers alike. MSHS also piloted a Maker Pod which flexibly stores different materials to be used for Design Thinking and maker challenges. Next year the spaces on both campuses will continue to evolve and engage students in the art of creating and repurposing.
4. Design Thinking: 4/5 This year the Design Thinking process has really taken off at ASFM. In the elementary the 5th grade team went through the Design Thinking process with the whole generation. In high school, the entire ninth grade generation went through a Design Thinking crash course to get them ready for their projectile launching project for science. In the middle school, both the Leadership and GIN classes experienced the Design Thinking crash course to help them brainstorm and design sustainable action projects to improve some aspect of their community. Design Thinking was even made its own strand at the Live Curious, Go Beyond Conference where various teachers led workshops. Next year, TI is already booked to deliver Design Thinking teacher crash courses to kick off the school year. TI looks forward to offering these workshops to both teachers and students. Check out the time lapse video of middle school students during one of their sessions.
5. Innovative Learning Spaces: 3/5 This was a new initiative that began on both campuses this year, thanks in part to the visit of David Jakes. Jake’s visit had administrators and teachers looking at the purposeful (re)design of learning spaces by finding tensions and solutions through different design drivers. There was a PLC in the MSHS dedicated to creative and innovative learning spaces that held moderate success. After David Jake’s visit, a 4th grade class and the librarian have taken initiative to intentionally increase the functionality of their learning spaces. Next year MSHS is looking at going through the design process to adapt the shape of the learning commons, library staff room and TI office. Due to the visit of David Jakes being later in the school year, the Innovative Learning Spaces is a project that has been recently gaining momentum and will likely continue through next year.
6. Student Tech and Innovation Club
: 3.5/5 This year was the first official year for the Student Tech and Innovation Club. The club has gained a lot of interest within the first year of existence (just drop by the TI office during any break). The students goal is clearly defined in their goal statement, ‘How might we make ASFM a more innovative and technology advanced place?’. So far the team has explored website development, 3D design and printing, robotics, MakeyMakey, drone technology and technology support. The team is looking forward to really getting the club on its feet and innovating next school year. Plans are already getting started with getting the club involved with FIRST Robotics competitions
, summer programing/robotics courses and much more. The student tech and innovation club looks to expand to the elementary grades in the 2016/17 school year as well.